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Officials warn of charity scams during holidays

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email


Grayson County, TX - With last weekend focused on snatching up great deals, a national movement is trying to focus Tuesday on giving back.

It's called "Giving Tuesday."

Major Don Wildish, Salvation Army commanding officer, said it's a good day to recognize locals in need.

"Well Giving Tuesday, I think it's a great idea to bring a lot of attention to not only our effort, but also to a lot of the other agencies in our community that are doing a great job," he said.

But officials warn that with holiday giving, comes holiday scammers.

Wildish said donors should be cautious.

"The ones who are probably most vulnerable to that, are people who live alone," he said. "Who really don't have people they can ask questions to. Who might be senior citizens, or even single people."

Sherman Police Sgt. D.M. Hampton said the best way to avoid scams is do research and ask probing questions.

"Most people that are doing the scamming aren't going that far to make sure all their bases are covered," he said.

Officials offer other tips to avoid scams:
- never give your credit card information over the phone
- never make out a check to an individual person
- always verify the charity is legitimate
- always verify representatives work for the charity they claim
- never do anything that makes you uncomfortable

Hampton said giving to obscure charities increases the chances of being scammed.

"Stay local. Go to the ones that you know are here locally," he said. "There's a lot of local charities that need the money."

Wildish said scammers shouldn't discourage people from giving. But he does encourage people to be smart.

"Be careful, there's a lot of scams that are going on," he said. "Just be wise as you give."

Hampton said in addition to scamming, the holidays are also a time for increased theft. He said shoppers should be cautious in stores and online.


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